Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thoughts on Insecurity

VIA Tumblr
Just something I was thinking about last night...

Sometimes I re-play back conversations or whatever after the fact, and I just cringe, dwelling on it and thinking, "WHAT WAS I SAYING? I SOUNDED LIKE A COMPLETE IDIOT! THEY PROBABLY HATE ME NOW."

I am ashamed to admit, these exact thoughts go through my head.

But as I was laying in bed contemplating these things, I began to think about something else...

How life isn't actually about making me look great (Whaa?? No way!)
but about making GOD look great and glorifying Him in every way
including (and even ESPECIALLY) in my interactions with other people.

VIA Twitter - Notice how everything on this list starts with "I'm".
No, you are not good enough. But God is!
...then I realized this could actually help me overcome the constant insecurity I feel.

Because when you rip away all of the shiny, psychologically diagnosable exterior,
you find insecurity is really me worrying I wasn't glorified enough.
Worrying I'm not thought of highly enough by other people.

And guess what? That's sin, you guys.
Robbing God of any of His glory is a grave sin.
Trying to please people instead of God is idolatry, which is terrible sin.

As a matter of fact, it is part of the main reason we are declared guilty sinners, and why we need a savior. The book of Romans in chapter 1 gives us a description of people without God. Notice the themes being repeated over and over in this chapter. (Emphasis mine)

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. 
They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. [Romans 1:18-22, 28-32 NIV]

That... is serious stuff.

You guys, I say I am a Christian.
I say I am being changed by the Holy Spirit.
So how can I allow this constant insecurity in my life when I see 
it is so clearly tied to exactly what I desperately needed to be saved from in the first place? 

VIA Facebook
Insecurity takes God's place by putting *me* in the center of everything.

It takes God's place by driving my actions (I do things and say things so people will like me).

It robs God of His rightful glory, and gives it to me, instead.
This insecurity inhibits my ability to serve God.

Instead, I'm serving me.

Which is definitely NOT how a Christian is supposed to live.

Now, the world tries to fix this problem by saying, "Hey, don't be insecure. You're fine. You're great! You're perfect." But guys, really? Do any of us truly believe this? No! Why? Because it's not true, and we can see it. Every single day we are reminded that it's not true. I can't think of a single way in which I measure up to "perfect". If you try to convince yourself that you actually do measure up to the standerd of perfection, well, first of all, God says you don't, so you're faced with that issue right off the bat. But second, believe me, you will quickly prove to yourself the contrary. Convincing myself that I am worthy of glory is a path headed toward destruction.

So, as a Christian, what SHOULD my attitude be?

1. Well, first, there needs to be repentance: acknowledgment of the fact that insecurity comes from trying to elevate and glorify myself, instead of God who truly deserves it. I think I've come to a pretty clear conclusion: Insecurity is a sin issue. And sin must be repented of and turned from.

2. Second of all, do things and interact with people in your daily life with the purpose of glorifying God. My image-- my glory-- doesn't matter. What matters is showing people how great God is. Guess what? I'm not perfect. I bet you're all shocked, right? ;) 

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Ultimately, my image is in some way going to be tarnished. My facade is going to fail. And the glory-- the hope-- I've put into myself is going to lead me only to disappointment and complete embarrassment, hurt, and shame. It does this in small ways every time I obsess over something stupid I said.

But God... well, He's different. He is worthy of all the glory I could ever give Him, and infinitely more. He will never disappoint. His image will never be tarnished. He will never make a mistake.

I am in love with Galatians 1:10 right now. The verses before this one talk about some people who were abandoning the gospel (the true message of God) for a perverted, untruthful gospel. Paul is asking the Christians why they so quickly abandoned the truth for a lie. He finishes with this thought:
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. [Galatians 1:10 NIV]
In living a life for God;
being, as my youth pastor says, "On the mission of God";
spreading the truth to the world;
my focus cannot be on pleasing people.
It must be on God.
Ultimately, it is only His approval that I need.

3. Third, this attitude of serving God alone gives us freedom to break the chains of insecurity. I love how John Piper put it in his article on Galatians 1:
The most thrilling implication of verse 10 for me personally is this: The absoluteness of Christ's lordship is gloriously liberating. It frees me from having to worry about pleasing one person here and another person there. It brings unity and integrity to my life. When you live to please only one person, everything you do is integrated because it relates to that one person. Shall I go to this movie? Read this book? Make this purchase? Take this job? Go out on this date? Marry this person? What a freeing thing it is to know that there is one person who is to be pleased in every decision of life—Jesus. Sometimes pleasing him will please others. Sometimes it won't, and that will hurt. But the deep joy of a single-minded life is worth it all.

and later on in the same article...

...if you embrace the one true gospel, not only are all your sins forgiven by God, but a thrilling unity and integrity and liberty come into your life because there is only one person to please, Jesus Christ, and he only wills what is best for you.
So, can I completely overcome all my insecurity? Well, I think there will always be a little bit of insecurity inside of me. But I can begin to overcome it by always attempting to glorify God in everything I do, repenting when I lose my focus, and remembering it's not all about me and my image. That IS a freeing thought, is it not? 
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2 comments:

  1. Hmmm great thoughts Allison!! :) I feel like this many times. We just need to remember that we are made in God's image, and really, it doesn't matter about us. Its about Jesus and glorifying Him thru our life.

    Love ya!
    Manda
    http://meandjesus-amanda.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete